The key theme at the Fifth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, held this week in New York, is innovation, reports Businessweek.com. Attendees included executives from Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Goldman Sachs, who were asked to focus on profitable ways to address humanitarian issues such as health care, climate change and women’s rights, according to Businessweek.
One idea cited in the article came from conference panelist, Kathleen Eisenhardt, a Stanford engineering professor who co-directs Stanford’s Technology Ventures Program. She suggested a “recombination,” or the mixing and matching of ideas and teams, where for example, clean-energy start-ups in Silicon Valley could borrow concepts and recruit staff from unrelated industries such as software development, reports Businessweek.
At the meeting, several companies announced initiatives and partnerships aimed at improving the environment and the lives of families and women.
As an example, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and its partners announced a $2.3-million commitment to boost Chinese factories’ compliance with environment, health and safety (EHS) policies and achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next three years, ISC estimates that 5.6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions will be averted through the interventions deployed by trained factory managers.
The commitment scales up ISC’s Environment, Health and Safety Academy by establishing a second academy in another major industrial province in China in 2010. The academy equips supply chain managers with the leadership skills they need to address EHS priorities including energy efficiency and pollution reduction. ISC said the training draws on the best practices of companies such as GE, Honeywell and Adidas, which helped develop the core curriculum.
More than 24 corporations are already sending their supply chain managers to the EHS Academy in Guangzhou including GE, Nike, Honda, Dell, Timberland, Walmart and Starbucks.
The Procter & Gamble Company unveiled two multi-year commitments. The company’s Future Friendly program, which educates consumers on how to make sustainable choices, is committed to placing P&G Sustainable Innovation Products in 30 million U.S. homes by the end of 2010. The company also pledged to provide four billion liters of clean drinking water by 2012 through the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.
P&G previously announced its goal of $50 billion in cumulative sustainable product sales between 2007 and 2012.
HDR, a leading architecture/engineering/consulting firm, showcased its Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) process at the meeting, which the company describes as an objective and transparent methodology that allows public officials to assign monetary values to “green” intangibles such as carbon emissions saved.
FPL Group Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. jointly announced a plan to convert their fleets of trucks and cars entirely to plug-in hybrid or completely electric vehicles by 2020. The project expected to reduce GHG emissions by 125,000 metric tons over the next decade as the fleets ramp up their adoption of electric vehicles.
In addition, several corporations, NGOs and foundations announced 13 new partnerships to give millions of girls and women access to improved health care, better education, and increased economic opportunity. Click here for a list of all commitments.
Included in this, the Sustainable Health Enterprise commited to provide access to affordable, eco-friendly sanitary pads, plus health and hygiene education, through sustainable, locally-led businesses, for one million girls and women in Africa by 2012.